Transcontinental Railroad Research Paper

Did you know that there was over 1,700 miles of railroad track laid in the US from 1863-1869? This magnificent project was known as the Transcontinental Railroad, stretching all the way from California to Nebraska. The transcontinental railroad, took a long time to build, but connected the East and the West of the United States and had many impacts.

Building the railroad was no easy task. The US government passed the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, and this gave the private companies permission, as well as funds to start building this railroad. The two companies tasked with constructing this railroad were the Union Pacific Company, and the Central Pacific Company. The government provided lots of help in building them, as they provided the…

One example of these positive impacts is that it drastically cut the time it took mail to reach the other side of the country. The mail no longer needed to be carried on the Pony Express, which took up to 10 days, because people on horses can only travel so fast, and need time to rest. The railroad, on the other hand, cut the time for the same journey, down to just 6 days, or less. Since there were limited methods of communication back then, being able to write to someone, and receive a reply in 12 days instead of 20 was a great improvement. The new mail delivery system also left a smaller chance of lost envelopes and packages, because mail was now securely stored in a train car instead of a bag on the back of a horse. The pros of building the Transcontinental Railroad didn’t just stop there, it also, as expected, made the experience of travelling across the country much more comfortable, and a lot safer. Before the railroad, your only options would have been to either take a wagon, or take an extremely long ship route. After the trains were introduced, these two options were rarely even considered, as train travel in the 1800’s was ideal in almost every aspect. In turn, this created a lot of population growth in the largely unexplored West. There was lots of land to be claimed, and fields to be farmed in the West, and this, along with the now easy travel, attracted many settlers and immigrants….

An example of this would be the drastic decline in the buffalo population in the US caused by this railroad. The railroad workers killed off a large portion of the buffalos as a source of food. Many people who hunted for sport, or hunted to sell the meat began arriving by train, and killing massive numbers of buffalo. These two combines detrimentally affected the population of the American Bison, also called the…